How identity theft could affect you

Facebook.png

Many people are unaware of how Identity theft can affect their lives. Some even dismiss it as something that will “never happen to them” because they are careful with who they share their data. However, after the Master Deeds leak, over 70 million South Africans data was made available including South African ID numbers, phone numbers and street addresses. 

Take a moment and think about the number of services that use those details to verify identity before opening a line of credit?

Criminal Syndicates

Having your identity stolen and illegally used can hit your finances hard. Criminals could take out credit in your name or take money from your bank account. Those unauthorized actions on your credit profile can hurt your credit score and affect your chances of getting credit in the future.

Thankfully in most situations, the effects of fraud can be reversed if detected early enough. But this process can take an emotional toll on you and the impact can go on for much longer than the actual fraud itself – research by Experian's Victims of Fraud team shows that it takes an average of 292 days for people to discover their information has been used for fraudulent purposes and then it can take a staggering 300 hours to set the record straight!

You should check your credit report regularly as many of your financial accounts are detailed in it. Checking your credit report lets you spot fraud early. Look out for:

  • Searches on your report made by lenders as a result of a credit application.
  • Home addresses that aren't yours.
  • Loans and accounts that you didn’t apply for.

How to spot the warning signs of identity fraud

At Ekaya, we only make things that we would use ourselves, every day. That's why we built our VIP system to be the best identity verification, credit reporting and affordability calculator on the market. We designed VIP to help tenants and landlords connect and exchange information simply and securely during the rental application process but, given the scale of the recent Masterleaks disaster, we're extending an invite to all South Africans to make use of the service in order to safeguard themselves against identity fraud.

50% off VIP
We're passionate about using good technology to help people which is why we are offering all South Africans a 50% discount on the VIP service for the next month.
 

Masterdeeds Leak - Protecting yourself against identity theft.

Facebook.png

No more than a month ago in the US, a credit firm, Equifax, was hacked and exposed over 140 million social security numbers of Americans.  And now, in our own backyard, the private details of over 30 million South Africans – including ID numbers, contact details, addresses, and income estimates – have found their way into the public domain.

At Ekaya, we created VIP as a tool to enable tenants to securely and quickly collect their private data from credit bureaux and banks, from the convenience of their smartphones or computers, in order to apply for rental properties that they’re interested in renting.

Today, in order to give ALL South Africans (even if they are not tenants actively looking for rentals) the opportunity to use our VIP tool to pull their comprehensive credit report, we've massively discounted our pricing by 50% for the next 30 days.

Find out more about how to protect yourself below.

Ekaya VIP launches on Private Property

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 11.14.43.png

We’ve partnered with our friends at Private Property to make renting more personal and secure for everyone.  After all, renting is all about trust.

Quality properties deserve quality tenants.

Private Property features only top quality, scam-free properties from verified agents and landlords which means tenants can search with confidence.  VIP increases the circle of trust to include tenants.

Property managers on Private Property can now request VIPs from any tenant who enquires on their listing. The process is simple, secure and brings trust into the dealings online with tenants.

Renting Safely 101: Rental Application Process Explained

Finding your next rental can be a stressful experience especially if its your first time doing so. A big part of securing your rental is how you apply for it. This article is focused on helping you understand the rental application process and how you can use technology to make your (and the Property Owners) life easier.

Understanding the Landlords situation

Landlords are trying to find a Tenant to secure their investment. This means that they want to find the right Tenant that will not only pay the rent on time but also respect their property. On average a Landlord who lists their rental online will receive 30 phone calls and 75 emails! Thats a lot of noise that your application might get lost in.

Once a Landlord has on average 20 potential applicants, they usually setup a day for Tenants to view the rental in person. All Tenants then leave their information and the Landlord extends their final offer to the Tenant(s) that they prefer.

Lets investigate what it takes you to complete the best rental application.

 

90 Days Banking Transactions & Payslips

Landlords need to see what your income looks like. For this the easiest way is usually to review your last 90 days of transactions and salary slip. This helps them see your regular salary, commission based salary and your monthly expenses. They can also see historically what your affective spending limit is. This is important because according to the Rental Housing Act the rental affordability of someone should not exceed 30% of the gross income. For example if you earn a gross income of R10000/month you shouldn’t spend more than R3000/month on your rent.

Generally you will need to head to a local branch of your bank and queue to have them print this out for you. NOTE: Banks charge on average R13 per page so be cautious when requesting it!

 

Your Recent Credit Report

The real reason the rental industry uses credit reports is to get a view into a candidate’s payment performance, not so much his/her credit worthiness (although the two are often linked). So Landlords are looking to see if you have a history of successfully paying off your expenses and managing what you can afford to spend and pay back every month.

Landlords generally will ask you to provide this for them (at your expense) or will ask your permission to run it themselves (which sometimes they will either charge you or pay out of their pocket) You can generate this report directly from the Credit Bureau websites for a fee of between R50 and R150 depending on the site you find via Google search.

 

Your SAPS Certified Identity Document

Landlords want to know that the person who is looking to live inside their rental is who they say they are. There are unfortunately a lot of bad people out and they need to protect their rental income.
Getting your ID certified isn’t a complicated process, but involves you getting a certified copy of your ID document signed and stamped at a local SAPS.

Time Cost

Time is money, as the saying goes, and during the rental process you can lose a lot of time during the rental search and collecting all the required information. The best way to insure that you are ready to pounce on a rental the moment it you find it is that you have all the required information up from and ready to show to the Landlord.

 

How Ekaya VIP Saves You Time And Money

Ekaya’s innovative Verified Information Packet (or VIP for short) uses awesome technology to save you both time and money during the rental process.

We allow you to securely connect to your bank to generate 90 days of verified transactions. We currently support ABSA, Nedbank, FNB and Standard Bank. (Capitec to launch soon)

We also allow you to connect and verify your RSA ID when you generate your Credit Report and connect it to your Ekaya Profile.

With Ekaya we try and minimise the data exposed to the landlord to only the most relevant data points to assist them in assessing the potential risk of tenants. We also believe in you having control of the information you expose to Landlords, only sharing it with those you chose to share with and only for 7days. After that if the Landlord wishes to view your information they will have to re-request access from you. Data from credit reports is valuable, but it’s only a small part of the picture and that’s why Ekaya tries to form a holistic view of the tenant.

All of this takes under 5min to complete online and will only cost you a once off fee of R99! Once you have done this its as simple as messaging a Landlord on Ekaya or directly sharing with a Landlord by entering their email address.

Ekaya.com a new RealTech Startup is making renting a property smarter, not harder

The online rental marketplace that makes it safe and easy for people to list, find & renting a  property pulls the covers off its new offerings to help make the business of renting better for everyone.

 01 JUNE 2015 – CAPE TOWN – Ekaya.com, the online rental marketplace that makes it safe and easy for people to list, find and renting a property, announced today that it will launch a massive leap forward for the residential rental market and expand its service area to cover Gauteng as well as the Western Cape. The news is accompanied by an announcement that Bill Paladino (ex-Naspers, Amazon & Property24) has joined Ekaya’s already impressive list of investors and will be actively advising the company as it begins expanding across the country.

 

INTRODUCING EKAYA VIP

“We’ve packed a lot into this launch including a fresh new look for Ekaya.com but the thing we’re perhaps most excited about is the launch of our brand-new tenant verification system – called Ekaya VIP – which makes life a lot easier for tenants who are applying for properties and will give property owners new-found confidence in their selection process.”  –  Justin R. Melville, Ekaya CEO.

Ekaya VIP (Verified Information Pack) makes clever use of cutting-edge technology, previously utilised in the online lending space, to help prospective tenants collect and submit all the information they’ll need to apply for a rental property. Ekaya VIP works by collecting and verifying the identity, credit worthiness and affordability of a prospective tenant in one simple and quick process. For a nominal once-off fee of R99, the tenant’s data is stored safely in one convenient place, which enables him or her to share their information securely with multiple property owners as a part of their application without having to print out their bank statements and verify their ID document at the Police station.

For property owners and landlords, Ekaya VIP provides a clear bird’s-eye view of the risk factor of each tenant applicant, making it easier to filter-out and deal with good candidates who meet their requirements.

“Ekaya VIP is really the first tool of its kind; it makes a painful, time-consuming and often expensive part of the renting process safer, faster and more efficient for both tenants and property owners. It’s a critical part of our mission to make renting smarter, not harder,” said Melville.

At launch, Ekaya VIP will support all four major banks (ABSA, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank) and will be working on bringing more banks onboard in due course, such as Capitec.

“Safety and security of information is our north star. We’ve worked very hard with our partners and industry leaders to ensure the highest standard of data security without compromising the user experience,” – Rudolf Vavruch, Ekaya CTO.

 

EXPANDING TO GAUTENG

 After a stealthy development and testing period in Cape Town where Ekaya.com currently handles ~40,000 searches a month, the company has begun expanding its coverage area, which will now include the greater Gauteng metropolitan area.

“Johannesburg (Gauteng) is a huge market, and one that has been practically bashing down our door for access to Ekaya since shortly after we launched. I’m pumped to be bringing our offering to the City of Gold, at last!” – Ruark Ferreira, Ekaya COO.

The expansion to Gauteng marks the beginning of Ekaya’s forward march to become the nation’s biggest and best rental solution.

 

FRESH EYES IN BILL PALADINO

Bill Paladino joins Ekaya as an angel investor and advisor. His previous experiences, including CEO of Naspers e-commerce Africa, director at Amazon.com and board member of Property24, will introduce a wealth of rare and valuable marketplace experiences, as Ekaya plots its course toward further expansion and operational excellence.

“The guys behind Ekaya are passionate about building great software that customers love. As a rental property owner myself, the value proposition offered by Ekaya is a total no-brainer for the tenant and landlord. The potential market for something as good as this is big.” – Bill Paladino.

ABOUT EKAYA

Ekaya is a Cape Town-based startup founded in 2014 by Justin R. Melville (CEO), Ruark Ferreira (COO) & Rudolf Vavruch (CTO). The young company’s flagship offering – Ekaya.com helps people list, find and rent property safely & easily on their phone, tablet or computer.

Ekaya has attracted more than R2 Million in angel funding from notable investors including Mark Heerden, Justin Stanford, Dan Guasco, Wayne Gosling, Guilherme Steinbruch, Sebastian Stoddart, Bill Paladino and Vinny Lingham’s Newtown Partners. Ekaya graduated from the 88mph Accelerator Program (2014) and was the first company to attract funding at the Net Prophet SparkUp Live! (2014) event. Ekaya has even managed to tame a Dragon or three on the South African edition of Dragon’s Den (2014).

Renting Safely 101: Preparing for an Inspection

As a Tenant in South Africa, and most other countries, it’s inevitable that you will have to experience at least one inspection of the home you’re renting. These cause tenants a lot of stress simply because many people don’t know or understand what is expected of them.

We’re here to show you that with a few simple steps you’ll ace your rental inspection securing either another year on your lease or your full deposit back. 

The Early Bird…

Landlords and agents are by law required to give you at least 24hrs warning for an upcoming inspection but most, you will find, will give you a week or two’s notice. As soon as you know the date for the inspection is locked down, start to do little things every day to prepare for it!

It’s much easier to spread the preparation over a number of days, rather than killing yourself the night before. Deep clean the bathrooms one day, the kitchen the next and if need be, plan to do repairs over the weekend!

Make a list and check it twice

Inspections are not just for the benefit of the Landlord, they’re also a great opportunity for you to feedback to the Landlord about any ongoing maintenance issues that you have that are outside of your responsibility.

For example, in a furnished rental, if the TV remote found itself smashed through the screen while watching the Protea’s choke on their last wicket or your children’s crayon ‘artwork’ is on the walls or you broke a window while moving something on the balcony, that’s your responsibility to repair.

However, if the water pressure in the shower is dismal, a plug point keeps tripping or there is a leak in the ceiling; these are all structural issues and are the Landlord’s responsibility to take care of. Just remember its your responsibility as a Tenant to inform the Landlord of the issues.

Get Small Kids And Pets Out Of the House For The Day

Inspections can be quite stressful on your pets or small children. Strangers walking in and around your home can be very unsettling for pets and if you need to show the Landlord around you might have to leave your child unattended. If possible ask someone to watch or take them for a walk during the inspection.

 

Clean The House And Any Outside Areas

If you love where you live, you’re happy with the rent and the Landlord is chilled and out of your hair, you should really be doing everything within your power to make sure they allow you to extend your lease – this means you need to show that you care for their property/investment.

If you don’t have the time to be on your hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen and the shower with a toothbrush you can always make use of a cleaning service to give the house a good once over before the inspection. 

The outside area (if you have a garden) should be an ongoing project for you during your lease period. If you are unable to manage the monthly maintenance of the garden (but wish to renew the rental agreement) it might be a good idea to make use of a gardening service.

Take A Deep Breath

Unless you’ve totally taken the piss and done damage to the structure, the rental inspection should only last about 10-15min and should involve the Landlord taking a walk around to check for any major damage or potential future issues.

Make sure your place is neat and tidy, there are no distractions during the inspection and all should be fine. 

Renting Safely 101: Searching for a great Landlord

When you’re in the battlefield that is rental house hunting, sometimes it’s quite hard to spot a good Landlord in the fray. In a bid to quickly secure a rental that matches exactly what you need, you might overlook certain tell tale signs that can warn you a Landlord might become ‘admin’ down the line.

The Good, The Bad, and The Down-Right Scary!

Lets face it, not all Landlords are nice, awesome or understanding. Some Landlords are from hell and you don’t want to be stuck dealing with them for 12 months.

A good Landlord is someone who knows that the best way to service their investment is to make sure that the people living there are properly taken care of and that their Tenants not only pay their rent on time, but treat his property as if it were their own.

A bad Landlord is someone who cares very little for their investment and even less about the person living in it. So what signs can you look out for?

Your face when the Landlord says the first person to qualify and pay the deposit will get the place.

Your face when the Landlord says the first person to qualify and pay the deposit will get the place.

 

Really LOOK at the property

Most properties are repainted on the inside when a new Tenant arrives. What are the interior walls painted with? Does it look like the Landlord watered down the paint? Can you kinda see through it? What about the cleanup? Are there paint blobs on the skirting boards?

When you’re viewing the place take photos and tell the Landlord you’re doing it! Not only is this great for posting to Twitter with “Oh Em GEE @beckyxox look at that view! ” but it lets you document the state of the rental before you take ownership. If the Landlord has any issues with you doing this it might be a sign that they’re prone to withholding some (if not all) of your deposit when you decide to leave.

Inspect the state of the external walls & fences, garden and driveway especially in rentals that are free standing. Are the fences & walls in a maintained state? Security is important and a flimsy or broken wall might be a security risk and will definitely impact your insurance costs!

Really LOOK at the Landlord

Is your every communication with them on a different email address, using a different phone number or even with many different ‘names’ or parties? A Landlord here to to business is a professional and will act like it.

Most of the time they will speak to you with one number (being their landline and/or mobile) and almost always from the same email address. If the first email you get is from JamesSmith98@gmail.com and the next is from standardbank15@hotmail.com, or the Landlord only communicates only via whatsapp or from public phones you should probably step away from the deal. (Please report them to us .)

They’re asking you to provide a lot of personal information for your application, you’re fully within your right to ask them some questions about the rental history. How long have they been renting the place out for? Whats the average lease length? Have they had to evict any of their previous Tenants and why? Google their full name as well as the mobile number they use and see if there are any hits that match them. Would they be willing to give you the outgoing Tenants number for you to call?

Do they seem to be ok doing a ‘verbal lease’? Not only is this illegal but it doesnt protect you, the Tenant, at all in a court of law. This is a big one.

What is their attitude like and where do they stay? Landlords are allowed to schedule non-frequent site visits (with a proper notice period) to inspect their property. This is normal but be aware if they plan to do spot-check visits as this is not only a privacy issue but is a real pain to deal with.

 

Its also worth mentioning that you should trust your gut here. If the Landlord is giving you weird vibes you should probably walk away. Better that than being stuck in a long term contractual agreement with someone who could evict you, withhold your deposit or even worse, stalk you on Facebook.

Renting Safely 101: Deposit Key Scams

We work hard to make sure that we do everything in our power to verify and validate the information that is presented to our users. We take great pride when our users help us by reporting potential scammers, and fake/suspicious listings that slip through the gaps.

Today we’re launching a new series of articles called “Renting Safely 101” where we will cover various aspects of renting safely from both the perspective of a Tenant and Landlord.

Deposit Key Scams

At its base a Deposit Key Scam is a variant of a 419/Advance Fee scam. It involves a party (in this case the fake landlord) requesting an upfront payment from the Tenant to secure the rental contract on a property.

So how do you protect yourself?

Don’t be fooled by photography

Just because the listing page has nice looking images, doesn’t mean that the building actually exists or that the ‘landlord’ is the legal owner. Ask the Landlord for additional photos or a video of the space, as the legal owner will have access to the place. If they are unable to send more make sure their reason is believable.

Look at the context of the photo and ask the Landlord about any inconsistencies. Example would be seeing photos of stairs but not seeing a multi level external shot. Sometimes these scammers will steal photos from other legitimate listings to make up their fake listings.

You can also look to use technology like Google’s Street View feature to confirm that the property you’re renting actually exists at the address given and any external images of the property match the ones used in the listing.

Be careful of the cheapest properties

If prices seem too good to be true, there is a good chance they probably are. If you don’t have a feel for what a reasonable price is in an area, take some time discovering the average rental prices in your area. Rental rates well below the market average should immediately be approached with caution.

Always try to negotiate. This is not just to potentially get a better deal, but also to detect odd behaviour from the Landlord. Many times the scammers will use ‘template driven’ communication and swinging a curve ball can force them into tripping over their toes.

Never pay with cash

Scammers preferred methods of payment are cash and cash-transfer services like MoneyGram and Western Union . This is the surest sign of a scammer. Use a credit card or EFT to pay deposits because they offer audit auditable trails that can be used to refund monies or track down the scammer.  There’s never a good reason to wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee, first month’s rent, or any ‘key’ deposit.

Any Landlord who is here to do legitimate business is going to have a bank account and will allow you to transfer directly into it. If they request cash so that you can immediately secure the rental you can use a same-day-transfer from most South African banks (for a fee) – but you should only do this after you have seen and signed a rental agreement that states all parties ID and contact details.

Landlord is based overseas

“Dont worry, He has a plan to get the keys into your hands.” It might involve their lawyer or family member but they’ll ‘drop off’ they keys.

If you can’t meet the Landlord in person, see the apartment, or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking.

Bad grammar in emails

While a typo here and there can be forgiven (especially when replies are “sent from mobile device”, rental Landlords are professionals, and you should never receive emails that are riddled with poor grammar.

Ask to speak to them over the phone. You can ask specific questions about the rental and feel free to ask for past Tenant Reviews– especially if you’re suspicious. It should be an immediate red flag if the Landlord is unwilling to have a quick phone call with you prior to you securing a rental.

Trust your instincts

If you apply a small degree of skepticism to the process of house hunting, you’re more likely to see red flags and catch suspicious behaviour. Legitimate Landlords are here to do find a Tenant to service their investment for the next 12+ months.

You are fully in your rights to request further verification of their ownership. Make sure to verify that the full names match up with the person you’re dealing with via email or on the phone.

Don’t let ignorance be your downfall. Stay updated with all the latest tips and news from Ekaya by creating an account.

Reporting Scams

Ekaya.com attempts to verify our Landlords but some rentals that are indexed from other sites might slip through those checks. If you suspect that a listing might be a scam do your part and report it, or email us.

If you want to report a fraud attempt or actual fraud you can do so on the South African Fraud Prevention Service website.

Ekaya in FIN24: Loving to create something from nothing.

Entrepreneurs are people who see solutions to problems in a market and set about delivering it to customers in pursuit of great rewards despite the risks and sacrifices.”

How did you become an entrepreneur and why?

Entrepreneurs are people who see solutions to problems in a market and set about delivering it to customers in pursuit of great rewards despite the risks and sacrifices.

I’m not exactly sure why one would want be one (because it is hard as nails) but we were just born like this, it’s in our DNA. As a team we love the challenge of creating something from nothing, growing it into something significant and making the world a better place in process.

What gap did you see in the market for your business?

More people are renting today than ever before, but the way we do it hasn’t changed in decades.

More and more property owners are choosing to let their properties themselves (versus using an agent) but the tools available make it difficult to find a great tenant amongst all the faceless strangers of the internet. Managing your property and the tenant relationship can be stressful and time-consuming.

For tenants facing an increasingly competitive rental space, even finding a place is hard since you need to navigate your way through multiple sites and hundreds of classifieds and deposit scams only to find out the place you like is already taken.

It’s impossible to stand out in the crowded market and secure the place you want and having to supply all your confidential information in paper form is not only a pain, but a real security risk.

Nobody is winning.

We see an opportunity to create a place where both property owners and tenants can come together in a trusted environment to rent better.

What does the business do and what is innovative about it?

With Ekaya, would-be tenants can verify themselves through our quick and easy verification tool, which builds a neat (and ultra-secure) profile containing everything they need to nab the property they want – including verified identity, references, credit history and bank statements.

By having all this information available in a single, secure place they can beat out the competition by coming to the property owner “pre-vetted” making them three times more likely to be selected than any faceless stranger. The whole process is more efficient, cheaper and a lot more secure than the traditional way of finding and applying for rentals.

On the other side of the coin, property owners are getting access to a steady stream of pre-vetted tenants who meet their standards for affordability and risk profile, making it elegantly simple to find and select a great tenant for their investment property.

We’re so confident in ability to deliver on this promise that we guarantee our qualified tenants with the most comprehensive risk cover for property owners in South Africa (up-to five times the monthly rental) as well as a host of other great benefits that make renting a stress-free breeze for property owners.

Read the full article here.

Ekaya in FIN24: Tenant risk a big challenge for property owners

More and more property owners are choosing to let their properties themselves instead of using an agent, but the tools available make it difficult to find a great tenant amongst all the faceless strangers on the internet, according to Ruark Ferreira, co-founder of of the property company Ekaya.com

“Managing your property and tenant relationship can be stressful and time-consuming,” he told Fin24.

Ekaya has been in development and testing its services in Cape Town and surrounds up to now, but has been looking at the national stage since day one.

“More people are renting now than ever before and they’re renting for longer. Since 2008, this trend has really accelerated as fewer individuals can afford to buy property or at least take longer to reach home ownership,” said Ferreira.

“This underlying trend has created a property owner’s market with demand far outstripping supply, making things very competitive for tenants.”

The majority of properties that Ekaya deals with are on the market no longer than 10 days (from time of listing to lease signing) and the site experiences lots of interest from would-be tenants, often 20 final applications to every property.

“We understand the trend of an the increasing number of property owners choosing to handle their rentals themselves versus using an agent. It is largely rooted in the fact that yields are tight on rental properties (6% to 8%) and rental agents tend to charge around 10% commission,” said Ferreira.

Currently around 70% of the market choose the do-it-yourself model in order to maximise their returns, but this comes with its own downsides, he warned.

The biggest challenge property owners will face in his view is tenant risk.

“Putting the wrong person in your property can have serious implications for your investment. One month of non-payment by a tenant can erode your entire yield for the year and it can be a difficult, unpleasant and often expensive process to remove a bad tenant,” he said.

“In the past, security deposits may have helped to mitigate some of the risk, but in reality the protection they offer is negligible. Recent changes to the law have made correctly administering a tenant’s deposit an onerous affair and once the deposit is depleted the property owner is still stuck in unfortunate circumstances without any leverage and an asset that isn’t generating any income.”

Read the full article here.

a Christmas Eve 2014 message from the guys at Ekaya.com :)

Here we are, Christmas Eve 2014! Most of us will be settling-in for festive celebrations with friends & family and possibly looking back on the year that has passed.

For Ruark, Rudolf and I – it’s incredible to think back on 2014 and know that just 10 months ago Ekaya didn’t exist and we knew almost nothing about the rental market (other than that it sucked, in our personal experience). What a journey it has been. Along the way we’ve come through 88mph & SparkUp Live!launched in Cape Townseduced some incredible Angels and tamed a Dragon or three. Today we have a cool little product, amazing customers and an incredible team behind us as we push forward on our mission to make renting better for everybody.

Whether you’ve found yourself a great space to live or found a great tenant on Ekaya, you’ve made a little bit of history with us and that’s priceless. As much as we are company… this is still a story and you’ve been an amazing cast of characters in this chapter. Thank you.

2014 has been a building year for us, a time to find our feet, forge partnerships and gather our strength. 2015 is shaping up to be a massive year for us and our little company and we have all of you to thank for that.

So my friends, please enjoy yourselves and the company of your loved ones this festive season. We shall raise a glass to you and to this crazy journey and see you all in 2015.

Best wishes and good vibes,

Ruark, Rudolf & Justin

Ekaya.com has tamed the Dragons!

dragons.jpg

Last night our CEO Justin R. Melville was on Dragons Den South Africa and all of us here at Ekaya are so proud of his performance showing how, our platform, is going to tackle the future of the rental industry! After parrying all the Dragons during the Q&A session we recieved offers from 3 of the 5 Dragons but finally settled on the offer from Vinny Lingham 🙂

You can watch the clips below or catch it on repeat on Mzansi Magic Channel 161 

We have recieved tremendous feedback and support from the public via our emailTwitter and Facebook accounts which has really touched the team here at Ekaya. We’re super excited to bring Ekaya to a city near you soon so stay tuned!

Ekaya.com in the November issue of Forbes Africa

Wow! What an honor! Our awesome little startup was featured in the November issue of Forbes Africa!

Innovation is becoming the cornerstone of business. These are 10 of the most promising technology companies in Cape Town.

There isnt an online version of the magazine freely available so make your way to your local magazine store and pick up the November issue to check it out! We’re on page 54 (just before the great Elon Musk interview) Alternatively, you can buy it online here.

Protecting against the POODLE

At Ekaya we take security very seriously. When news of a new security threat, innocuously named POODLE, was announced yesterday we dove right in. We researched the flaw, looked at many pictures of poodles and secured our servers against it. (if you want to geek out, like we did, here is the full breakdown of the POODLE vulnerability)

We learned that POODLE does not only affect websites, it can also affect a user’s browsers if they browse a website with malicious intentions. In the interests of making your journey on the web safer please follow the instructions on the website below to defend your browser against the POODLE.

https://zmap.io/sslv3/browsers.html

You might need to refresh your browser a few times after making the change to see the secure sign.

Once you’re done there you can double check on this site:

https://www.poodletest.com/

Safe browsing! 

We proudly present Ekaya.com

We know we’ve been a little quiet of late – thats because the team has been working hard on new features, opening the BETA in Cape Town, and finalizing our Angel investment. 

Over the next few weeks we’ll be talking a lot about the above but here are the main highlights –

  • We’ve launched the awesome Ekaya Profiles (the Ekaya Card) which lets tenants attach a snapshot of themselves when they send messages to landlords, the benefit being that landlords can see and make offers based upon the quality of the incoming interest. This is the first piece of our nifty new “matchmaking” system.
  • We’ve ended the early access program and Ekaya is now in open BETA in Cape Town with around 1000 places to rent on any given day.
  • We’ve successfully closed an Angel round of R1.4M from some pretty amazing Angels. It’s been a long and complex road but we’re proud of our accomplishments in this regard.

We’re also proud to announce that we have acquired our very own ‘.com’ and will be migrating from ekaya.co to ekaya.com – never fear all your old links will still work, our wizards made sure of that!

Thank you to all the people who have helped us test, retest, suggest features and test again. We look forward to working closely with the rental community to make Renting, better.

-Team Ekaya.com
(Justin – Ruark – Rudolf)

You can view/download our full press release here.

Ekaya On The Top40 Most Innovative List!

Wow what an honour! Ekaya.co was ranked among the Top 40+ Most Innovative South African Companies to Follow in 2014! 

South Africa’s economy is growing in leaps and bounds particularly the ICT sector and this is leading to more and more new companies setting up their businesses in the country. From over 5,000 young South African companies, our analysts have selected Top 46 truly South African most innovative companies, all leading in industries ranging from media and telecommunications to retail and restaurants and food & beverages. The most innovative startups in South Africa are diverse, leading in industries ranging from Technology to Social Media, Entertainment, News and Content, to Education, Analytics, E-commerce, Design, Food, Hardware, Healthcare, Commerce, Sports, Finance, Marketing, Open source software and retail

What all the 40+ companies we’ve listed share in common is the desire to keep innovating. Inside these companies, big ideas and innovation is anything but passive. 
Some of these startups are more established, while others are just getting their footing, there are several we came across that were too stealth to be included in this list. One thing is very clear: There are undoubtedly a number of innovative startups in South Africa and all the companies we’ve listed have fresh concepts with the potential to become industry leaders.
South Africa is chock full of startups bringing up innovation and big changes in industries, creating new business models as well as jobs and helping to reinvigorate the South African economy.

We’re very excited about these companies unique products and services they offer, fervor for building great things and their visions for a better world. 

See the full list here.

Ekaya in the Cape Town finals for “Get In The Ring"

We made it through to the Cape Town finals for the “Get In The Ring” competition!

The 8 most promising Cape Townian start-ups will compete in the Regional Final for one spot in the International Final of Get in the Ring. The Regional Final for Africa will take place on the 25th of September in Rwanda. The winner of the African Regional final will join his / her international counterparts in Rotterdam, on the 21st of November with 7 other finalists competing for investment funding up to € 1 000 000 / R 15 000 000.

Guess its time to re-watch Rocky 🙂 

Ekaya in Ventureburn

We were featured on Ventureburn today! 

Ekaya.co describes itself as an Airbnb for long-term renting. It’s a trust-based marketplace where you can list, find and rent a place from your phone and on the web. Landlords, on the other hand, have a platform to advertise, vett tenants, collect rental and manage risk. But apart from that, the South African based startup has a lot of other features that make it unique and really exciting.
At face value, Ekaya has a self-proclaimed killer discovery experience. Currently in private beta, the user interface works smoothly while clever filter sliders help the searching process. The map interface is pretty, useful and seems to do the job.

Read the full article here